Sixty-six years ago the Japanese committed to and initiated a war unlike any fought in the history of the world. No war compares to the scale of the Pacific war between the United States and Japan, stretching north to the Aleutian islands, south to Australia, east to Hawaii and west to Burma. The Japanese knew they could not win a total war against the United States, however they believed the could deal enough damage to the United States Navy to force American concessions. They might have been correct, we will never know; the Aircraft carriers happened to be at sea when the Japanese struck Pearl Harbor. Instead of destroying American sea power at Pearl Harbor, the pilots resorted to secondary objectives – the obsolete battleships built to fight the German High Seas Fleet during the first world war.
Americas response was a commitment to the total defeat of Japan. Japan’s fall back strategy in case the Pearl Harbor attack failed was a war of attrition, which Japan could never win, but possibly make the war so expensive in financial and human terms that the United States would come to the negotiating table. The United States never came to the negotiating table, four years later Japan signed the unconditional surrender, bringing an end to the second world war.
As the United States Navy and the Marine Corp readied for the Invasion of Japan which would dwarf the D-Day landings on the Normandy coast. The 509th Composite Group of the United States Army Air Force hijacked the war when the B29 Enola Gay dropped the Atomic Bomb “Little Boy” on the untouched city of Hiroshima Japan, vaporizing 70,000 people and destroying the city in an instant, and eventually killing an additional 60,000 people from after affects. Atomic bombing proved nearly comparable to the firebombing of Tokyo earlier that year which totally destroyed sixteen square miles of the city and killed over 100,000 people. (compared to 4.4 square miles of total destruction in atomic bombing of Hiroshima)
The government of Japan was so committed that the weapon built to end the second world war needed to by used twice. Japanese scientists had reason to believe America had only one bomb. The Uranium Gun bomb dropped on Hiroshima was so costly and time consuming to produce that the United States in fact only had one, the Japanese authorities correctly surmised after the Bombing of Hiroshima that it would be a long time before another Uranium bomb was produced. However they didn’t foresee that the United States had been simultaneously developing two very different and unrelated atomic bombs. Three days later the city of Nagasaki was destroyed by the Plutonium Implosion bomb. Total war was now obsolete.